Monday, February 27, 2017

An Evening in Cologne: Grievances and Dinner at the Glashaus Restaurant & Bar | Hyatt Regency

My love for food is real that each year my girth is growing arrogantly. How spectacular is that? Not.

Perhaps too blunt for an introduction of a blog entry about a dinner in a classy hotel restaurant. But it’s a current personal topic that I am trying to address. When you are 46 going 47 and genes stand in the way, I guess one should take it seriously.

Dinner at Glashaus Restaurant & Bar
Cologne skyline

The Cologne skyline. This is the view from Hyatt Regency Cologne Hotel where the Glashaus Restaurant & Bar is located.

But what I really struggle, even when I eat just a little, is that I already feel so full. I seriously envy those women who can eat and laugh their way from a starter to the main course and a dessert. When I eat out or go to gatherings where food is served, I always check the plates of others and compare it to my mine. And it only leaves me with unanswered questions – Why am I already full with ½ or ¾ of what they ate? I always end up standing for the rest of the evening because my stomach is up to my throat already!

Before people start to lecture me about healthy eating here’s the gist: I eat healthily. When you open my fridge, all you see are vegetables. And I eat 4 to 5 different kinds of fruits every week.

Anyway, I am digressing so let me get back to the original topic.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the Read more link below]

For this dinner at the Glashaus Restaurant & Bar of Hyatt Regency Cologne Hotel, I made sure to only eat a starter and a main course. I seriously cannot handle another course of dessert.

For my starter, I settled for the carrot and pumpkin soup, and well, I am guilty your honour of eating a piece of bread with delicious sea salt butter from France. Although I really believe this was a light starter. I know, excuses, haha.

Then came my main course of seared scallops which was served with some rice. The scallops were very nicely cooked; tender, juicy, firm and lightly browned. I enjoyed it a lot. However, I did not eat half of the rice and I already had a very full and bloated stomach. Why is that?

I may sound complaining, and I am, that for sure. But this is becoming an annoying and hot topic that I am going through right now. I just can’t seem to enjoy a generous amount of serving of food, or normal food portions even. It is very sad when you are a person who loves the culinary side of life. *sigh* The struggle is real people.  #lifeisnotfair

Some observations about the restaurant:

  • You will not really feel like you are eating inside a glass house if you come here for dinner. Simply because it is dark and you cannot appreciate the glass see-through ceiling.
  • It is, therefore, best to eat here during the day, such as for lunch or afternoon tea when you can appreciate the see-through environment and the beautiful view of the Rhine River, the Hohenzollern Bridge, the Dom Cathedral and the rest of Cologne’s cityscape.
  • Service was quite good, although I notice the manager being a bit aloof. Maybe it is just a German thing? He did give us the table we wanted, well, after checking his list of course.
  • Guests are mostly on business here so I wouldn’t really suggest this restaurant for a nice romantic evening dinner. It is not a very cosy place.
  • The lighting design in this restaurant needs major improvement. The hanging art glass work and lighting system were not enough to spruce up and give the place some sass and jazz. The place feels a bit empty and prosaic for a 5-star property. 
  • The food was quite good though. I cannot complain. Thumbs up!

Glashaus Restaurant & Bar
Dinner at Glashaus Restaurant & Bar

I have to say that the red wine (forgot what it was) was very good.

Dinner at Glashaus Restaurant & Bar

Everyone each had their own starter.

Dinner at Glashaus Restaurant & Bar

And this is mine, some carrot - pumpkin soup which was, simple, yet very delicious.

Dinner at Glashaus Restaurant & Bar

And my main course, seared scallops with pesto sauce. This was really good.

Dinner at Glashaus Restaurant & Bar
Dinner at Glashaus Restaurant & Bar

The desserts, which are not mine of course. I opted out!

Dinner at Glashaus Restaurant & Bar
Dinner at Glashaus Restaurant & Bar

Mignardises for the coffee. Thanks, I am taking just the coffee, please.

After dinner, I walked back to my hotel. I badly needed this walk and have even refused the offer of a lift.

Cologne’s skyline from the Hyatt Regency is lovely. In front of the hotel is a nice boulevard on the Rhine River which is a great place to sit and hang out during the day. I have seen many locals, as well as tourists flock to this area. My colleague told me that this boulevard sparked a huge controversy because the project management was a failure. It did not look to me that this was a failure though, as I can obviously see the finished product, but he said, it was. Helaas, the project was NOT delivered on-time and NOT on-budget, and the locals have a beef with it.

What does that say to me? Ze Germans are therefore not all the time efficient and not on time. So much for the stereotype =)

I passed by the gothic Dom Cathedral which is along the route to my hotel and saw some writing reflections on the ground in front of the entrance door. It says, ‘Holy Door’ in many languages. I quickly searched Dutch and Tagalog (for sure they will use Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines than of course Cebuano, my mother tongue) and found them!

‘Heilige Poort’ (Dutch) and ‘Banal na Pintuan’ (Tagalog).

Autumn leaves in Cologne

Underneath the ground is the Gürzenich-Orchester of Cologne (Symphony Orchestra Hall) which was not built properly. When there is a concert, they cordon this whole area complete with a security guard assigned exclusively to shoo off anybody who walks in the middle. The acoustic insulation is pretty bad that anyone walking above could be heard below.

Holy Door Light Reflections Cologne Cathedral

Light reflections of Holy Door writings in different languages on the ground in front of the main door of the Cologne Dom Cathedral.

The hotels in Cologne were full and I managed to grab this room at Hotel Koenigshof The Arthouse for €260 when it should have been a €85 room during normal weeks.

This is a known issue in Cologne because the city is home to one of the biggest congress centres and exhibition halls in Germany. When a congress or trade fair takes place, hotel prices in the city centre shoots up to 3x and 4x their normal rack rates! Unbelievable but true. There was another time that I booked a hotel in the suburbs because it would be very irresponsible and silly for me to pay a thousand euros on accommodations only. The suburbs, yes, that is a tip. Just come with the car or learn a bit how the local public transportation goes.

Hotel Koenigshof The Arthouse

I got the NYC room, and the doorknob lights up, very interesting.

Travel Period: October 2016
Destination: Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia), Germany

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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